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Splatcat Records

Mo Money Means Mo Marketing
by Tom Leu

Here are a few ideas to help your band or group generate some additional revenue to pay the bills starting today. Some of these techniques are not rocket science, but have you ever really attempted to execute them? Try using a few ideas simultaneously to get a bigger bang for your buck, pun intended. There is no time like the present to begin planning your resolutions for a prosperous and profitable winter. The quote goes something like this, "if you want to keep getting what youíve always gotten, then keep doing what youíve always done."

1. How can you make "money" from your live shows aside from what the gigs pay? Here is a technique to get paid and move some merchandise without necessarily getting paid. Offer to play for "free" in exchange for the club or venue to pre-purchase a certain amount of your CDís or merchandise prior to the show. They can sell the CDís in advance, thus helping you play to a crowd already somewhat familiar with your music. Youíll have to determine exactly how much the show is worth to you, and then calculate how much merchandise youíll need to pre-sell. This is a situation where a contract is a necessity.

2. Get creative with the type of merchandise you sell. Offer what people want, or will want to buy at your live shows. Display your wares proudly. Have an attractive merchandise table and display set-up. Hold your stuff up during your performances. Show people what you are selling, endorse your own merchandise if you will. During the Billboard music awards, this year, one artist took the time to plug his latest release by actually pulling the CD out of his back pocket and showing it to the millions of viewers who were watching. It may have been a little crass perhaps, but it was effective. I remembered it; look I wrote about it here. It's about making an impression.

3. Offer package deals on your merchandise. We all love bargains, music fans are no different. Create some hot deals that your prospective buying audience will not want to pass up. Sell your CD and a T-shirt for $15.00. Throw in a photo or a bumper sticker and make it an even $20.00. Figure out your specific price points and go from there. The possibilities are endless, get creative and watch the merchandise move.

4. Do benefit events. Whenever possible, especially if you are a newer group, get on the bill of any charitable or not-for-profit events in your area. The exposure and press from these events is more than worth your time. Often the organizers of these events will help you push your merchandise and advertise your appearance in exchange for your time doing the show. This is also a great way to give something back to the local communities that support you and your music.

5. Finally, give away samples of your music to sell more of your music. I call them audio flyers, you can call them whatever you like. You simply cannot hear what a band sounds like from a piece of paper, no matter how cool the artwork is. Put two or three of your latest songs on a CD, print an eye-catching label promoting your upcoming show(s) and listing all of your contact information, and then give them to everyone you can. Amazingly, over time, you will notice more people coming out to your shows and the sales of your CD will increase proportionately.

The Bottom Line: Are these complicated concepts? No. Is it difficult to actually set aside the appropriate amount of time necessary to do these things properly? Usually. But, no pain - no gain, right? Something like that.

Tom Leu - The Musicians Corner
For hundreds of techniques & strategies to market, promote, and sell your music more effectively, more often...check out Money, Marketing, & Myths Inside the Musicianís Corner Volume One by Tom Leu at

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